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NWT United Way seeks 'creative' project ideas for $75,000 in seniors funding

United Way NWT supports as many as 20 non-profit organizations in NWT. This year, Yellowknife Women's Society has been awarded multi-year funding for a court outreach support program. Photo courtesy of United Way NWT.

The United Way NWT will be making special efforts to assist senior citizens across the Northwest Territories during the Covid-19 pandemic as the federal government has provided $9 million across the country.

The Government of Canada first announced the funding for seniors on March 29 and stated that it would be distributed in collaboration with United Way Canada through the federal department of Employment and Social Development New Horizons Seniors Program. The money is to be used to assist organizations providing essential services to vulnerable elders.

A news release from the Prime Minister's Office stated that these services "could be these services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports."

Meghan Kennedy, who is chairing a Covid-19 sub-committee with the United Way NWT board said United Way organizations across the country have been asked to disperse the funds.

The United Way NWT expects to have about $75,000 provided to organizations working with NWT seniors by May 15.

There is also a $5,000 limit for each community.

"United Ways across the country were given the opportunity to opt in to be able to disperse the money locally, and so the United Way NWT took that opportunity," Kennedy said.

"The committee is looking to engage with all organizations that are currently supporting vulnerable seniors impacted by Covid-19. So vulnerable seniors would be anyone 55-plus and could include also low income individuals, minority groups, people in rural or remote settings, or caregivers."

Organizers helping seniors can apply for funds through the United Way NWT with proposed projects worth up to $5,000. Funds can go towards anything related to seniors care and may be related to things like providing food, shelter, cleaning or hygiene until April 30.

Other project ideas might involve virtual programming or mental health assistance, she added.

"I'm hoping that we're going to see some really creative applications from across the territory," Kennedy said.

In the meantime, the United Way NWT plans on reaching out to communities across the territory to ensure people are aware about the application opportunity.

Once applications are in, the board will review the applications to ensure projects meet the funding criteria and money will be sent out afterward.